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[em-puh-thet-ik] /ˌɛm pəˈθɛt ɪk/
of, relating to, or characterized by empathy, the psychological identification with the feelings, thoughts, or attitudes of others:
a sensitive, empathetic school counselor.
Also, empathic
[em-path-ik] /ɛmˈpæθ ɪk/ (Show IPA)
Origin of empathetic
1930-35; empath(y) + -etic
Related forms
empathetically, empathically, adverb
nonempathic, adjective
nonempathically, adverb
Can be confused
empathetic, sympathetic, simpatico. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for empathic
  • Given our own abhorrence toward importation from any countries of drugs, one would presume some empathic understanding.
  • It could be that, compared to other professions, the people that gravitate to healthcare tend to be less empathic.
  • They also noticed that empathic brain systems took an average of six to eight seconds to start up.
  • There has been an empathic feeling, as there always is in the presence of great vocalism.
  • Conversely, medical students should learn empathic skills by mastering patient simulation.
  • Yet some researchers are inflicting pain on other primates in studies to isolate specific neurons in empathic responses.
  • Nearly all are earnest and empathic about their work.
  • Research consistently demonstrates the key role an empathic patient-doctor relationship plays in overall health.
  • For their level of intelligence, they're unusually cooperative and empathic.
  • Of course, there are plenty of empathic and creative people who can handle the math, and plenty of compulsive whiners who can't.
British Dictionary definitions for empathic


of or relating to empathy
Derived Forms
empathically, empathetically, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for empathic

1909, from empathy + -ic. Related: Empathically.



1932, in psychology, from empathy on model of sympathetic and to distinguish it from empathic. Related: Empathetically.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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